Sector organisation writes to Matt Hancock and other MPs to express concerns
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The National Association of Local Councils has called on the government to provide to help fund the £3.5m it claims parish councils across the UK will have to spend on becoming compliant with the incoming General Data Protection Regulation.
GDPR takes effect across the EU on 25 May. The Data Protection Bill – which will, effectively, sign into UK law all the measures laid out in in the European legislation – is today being debated by MPs, during its second reading in the House of Commons.
NALC claims that the burden on the UK’s 10,000 parish and town councils of appointing a designated data protection officer to represent the authority – and fulfil their duties in all council meetings – will add up to a cumulative total of £3.5m.
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Sue Baxter, who serves as chairman of both NALC and Wythall Parish Council in Worcestershire, has written to secretary of state for digital, culture, media, and sport Matt Hancock to express her concerns about the impending cost for councils. Such concerns have also been expressed in a briefing paper that NALC has sent to MPs.
Baxter said: “While NALC broadly welcomes the principles of the Data Protection Bill, it is vital these new measures are proportionate and the impact of GDPR on our sector is fully understood by the government. On a number of occasions recently, the government has acknowledged the very important services delivered by parish councils, and their role in improving quality of life and wellbeing of communities.
She added: “It is therefore vital the government mitigates the financial impact of the bill and GDPR on our councils, and ultimately residents in our communities, by providing new burdens funding. I have stressed to the government my keenness to work with them on this important issue.”
NALC is calling for individual parish councils and the county associations that represent them to get behind the campaign and raise the issue with MPs.